Transcript: Vice President Cheney on 'FOX News Sunday'

Published February 07, 2005

| FoxNews.com

HOST CHRIS WALLACE: And good morning again from FOX News in Washington. We've got a lot of ground to cover today with our exclusive guest, the vice president, Dick Cheney.

And, Mr. Vice President, welcome to "FOX News Sunday."

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning, Chris.

WALLACE: Let's begin with Iraq. After last Sunday's remarkable election, the focus now is on the shape of the new government. About a third of the votes are in, and it seems that the Shiite coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, has a commanding lead. That slate is dominated by religious groups with clear ties to Iran. And we now hear that leading clerics are pushing for Islam to be the guiding principle of the new constitution. Does that concern you?

CHENEY: I'd be a little careful about characterizing what that group's pushing for at this point. There's also a lot of evidence that they're very interested in talking with the Sunnis and getting the Sunnis involved in the process, even though they did not participate that much in the electoral process.

No, I think we have to be very careful here. We're trying to forecast what a as-yet-unformed government is going to do, based on partial election returns, without really having heard or let the debate the unfold. We also have to be careful, Chris, I think, to remember this is going to be Iraqi, whatever it is. It's not going to be American. It's not going to look like Wyoming or New York when they get their political process all put together.

This is the first step, electing a national assembly, 275 members. They're going to create a government, select a president, prime minister. They're going to write a new constitution. There will be a referendum on that constitution and a final election come fall. But they will do it their way. They will do it in accordance with their culture and their history and their beliefs and whatever role they decide they want to have for religion in their society. And that's as it should be.

We need to step back a bit now, since this is not just an appointed government. This is the first democratically elected government in Iraq in a very long time. It's now up to Iraqis to take the next step.

WALLACE: But if I may just follow up, for instance, in Basra, apparently the clerics there have already begun to insist that women wear the hijab, the full chador, covered head to toe.

Clerics in Najaf are apparently now becoming a leading force in the Shiite coalition. I remember President Bush, after his election, said, "I earned political capital in this campaign, and I intend to spend it." Are you saying that if the clerics want to spend their political capital however, that we are bystanders?

CHENEY: I'm saying I've got a lot of confidence in the players in this process, with respect to watching the Iraqis put together their government.

If you're looking for guidance in terms of what the relationship is likely to be between the religious faith, Islam, and the secular side of the house, the government, you really need to look at the top cleric, Sistani. And he is a noted, much revered religious figure in that part of the world.

He also has been very clear, from the very beginning, that he did not want to play a direct role and doesn't believe clerics should play a direct role in the day-to-day operations of government. He cares a lot about seeing that the Shia, which he represents, get their fair cut at the seats.

They had not ever had that before. But I think he's been very clear, in terms of his basic philosophy and attitude and what he would like to see develop here.

I think the Iraqis have watched the Iranians operate for years and create a religious theocracy that has been a dismal failure, from the standpoint of the rights of individuals. They fought a bloody, eight-year war between the Iraqis and the Iranians against that kind of theocracy.

And I think there are a great many people involved in the political process in Iraq who will seek some kind of balance. But in the final analysis, the bottom line for everybody to remember here is, this is not going to be, you know, an Iraqi version of America. This is going to be Iraqi. It's going to be written by the Iraqis, for the Iraqis, implemented and executed by them.

And it's absolutely essential that that be allowed to happen and that we preserve the integrity of that process that we set in motion. We said we want freedom for the Iraqis, we want a democracy, we want them to pick their own government, write their own constitution. And that's exactly what's happening.

And we need to, I think, step back and admire them for how far they've come, the courage they've displayed. I think we have a great deal of confidence in where they're headed.

I don't think, at this stage, that there's anything like justification for hand-wringing or concern on the part of Americans that somehow they're going to produce a result we won't like.

WALLACE: Now, the Sunnis did not vote in very large numbers, and it appears they're going to have very few seats in the new national assembly. One of the things that Sunni leaders are demanding, a price for their participation in the new government, is a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.

First of all, is that acceptable to the U.S.? And secondly, let me just ask you with regard to the timetable, the current plan, which we heard this week, is to pull 15,000 troops that were brought in for election protection, to pull them out next month. Beyond that, do you expect any decrease in the 135,000 troops who will be left by the end of 2005?

CHENEY: Well, let me try to work my way through a series of questions there, Chris.

First of all, if you look, you'll see that the leading figures on the Shia ticket that appears to be winning, headed up by Hakim, who is a cleric, made it clear that they are opposed to setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

I think the Shia are very interested in getting the Sunnis involved in this process, but I would be surprised if they would agree to anything that was suggested that, for example, required the withdrawal timetable for U.S. forces.

I think the responsible Iraqis, the ones we've been working with, understand, just as do we, that the ultimate test here is, when do we complete the mission?

Once we've completed the mission, we've stood up an effective Iraqi government and they have security forces in place to be able to take care of their own, then we're out of there. We have no desire to stay a day longer than necessary.

But the test for our departure has to come with respect to when we've completed the mission, not some artificial deadline we might decide on now as part of a political compromise. And I think we'll find that, in fact, that will be the view that will prevail in the new Iraqi government.

WALLACE: President Bush did not mention Usama bin Laden in his State of the Union address. Do you have any idea where he is, even what country he's in?

CHENEY: That would be just speculation. And if I did know, I obviously couldn't talk about it.

WALLACE: I mean, the current speculation is that he's somewhere in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

CHENEY: I don't want to elaborate on where he might or might not be.

WALLACE: How much operational control do you believe he still has over Al Qaeda? And 3 1/2 years after 9/11, why haven't we still caught him?

CHENEY: Well, we have done enormous damage to Al Qaeda. The attacks that we've been able to mount, the work we've done with other nations, the Pakistanis, the Saudis and others, we've had an enormous and, I think, devastating impact on the organization -- captured or killed literally thousands of them around the world.

The organization, at this point, is, I think, very diffused. I don't think there's a hierarchical chain of command there; there never was much of one.

But I think nonetheless the threat's still out there. You see the kind of attacks that we had in Madrid, in Casablanca and elsewhere, Istanbul. These oftentimes are attacks that are launched by what you might call affiliated, Al Qaeda-affiliated groups, but they work on their own timetable, plan their own attacks. Some of them have been trained in Afghanistan and then go back, as is true of the group in Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiyah. Then they go out, and sometimes with financial resources, but launch their own attacks.

In other words, attacks can occur without Usama bin Laden giving the order that an attack occur. I think he is in hiding. I think he finds it very difficult to communicate with his organization.

WALLACE: Why can't we catch him?

CHENEY: Well, we're doing our level best, and I think eventually we will. But he's very good on his operational security, obviously. He's found good places to hide. And so far it's been a difficult task. But I think eventually we will get him.

WALLACE: Let me switch to another troubled part of that world. Do you believe that the government of Iran has stopped its nuclear uranium-enrichment program, as it says it has?

CHENEY: I don't know. They have been working with the French, the British and the Germans, and we support that effort, an effort to try to resolve diplomatically, to get the Iranians to give up their aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons.

It all turns on this question of whether or not they should be enriching uranium. They claim they're doing it only for peaceful purposes, although there's some evidence to suggest that they have military aspirations and they're trying to acquire nuclear weapons.

WALLACE: But they say now they have stopped the uranium...

CHENEY: They say they have stopped it for now while they negotiate.

WALLACE: And do you believe them?

CHENEY: I don't know. I just don't know. I can't say with absolute certainty they have. I think that...

WALLACE: Let me ask you...

CHENEY: I think there's a good-faith effort under way by our European allies to try to resolve this issue diplomatically. We support that effort.

The Iranians, I think, should do the right thing, and they should, in fact, agree to transparency, reassure the outside world that they are not trying to acquire nuclear weapons.

WALLACE: Honestly, do you believe the regime there has any intention of giving up its nuclear weapons program?

CHENEY: I just don't know. It'll depend very much on what happens going forward. It's a regime, obviously, that we've got major problems with, not only because of their search for nuclear weapons, also the fact they've been a prime state sponsor of terror over the years, the prime movers behind Hezbollah.

So there are a lot of reasons why the Iranians are on the list of problem states. I think, if you look at that region of the world, a potential source for instability clearly is Iran if they continue on the course they're on.

But we're continuing to work, as I say, to encourage a diplomatic resolution to the problem, and we hope that will be successful.

WALLACE: As you point out, you're hoping that the European effort to arrange a deal will work. Failing that, the talk is go to the U.N. and ask for international sanctions. But I want to ask you a baseline question. The heart of the Bush doctrine has been to prevent the world's most dangerous people from getting their hands on the world's most dangerous weapons. Can you pledge that this administration will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear arson?

CHENEY: I think I'll leave it right where it's at, Chris. They know very well that we do not want them to acquire nuclear weapons, nor does the civilized world. I can't think of anybody who's eager to see the Iranians develop that kind of capability.

Now, we are moving to support efforts to resolve it diplomatically. If this process breaks down, the next step probably is go to back to the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and ultimately refer to the United Nations Security Council for the imposition of international sanctions on Iran.

There are a number of steps here to be considered. We have not eliminated any alternative at this point, but we obviously are seriously pursuing diplomatic resolution of this problem.

WALLACE: In the State of the Union speech, the president spoke directly to the Iranian people. Let's take a look at what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, I don't have to tell you there is a not-so-happy history of the U.S. over the years encouraging democratic movements and then leaving them to pay the consequences. If the young students in Iran take to the streets, try to take on the mullahs, what will this administration do? In effect, what do the president's words mean?

CHENEY: Well, I think we wanted to encourage the efforts that we've seen previously in Iran to promote freedom and democracy. They have held a number of elections. Unfortunately, that most recent series of elections had been tainted, if you will, by the ruling power. They control who can get on the ballot, and they've kept a lot of the serious reformers off the ballot. They've reasserted control so that they put a crimp, if you will, in the potential for that younger generation to really be able to express themselves.

And the president wanted to make it clear that the United States supports the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy. And that's the statement that he made that night, that we want to encourage the reformers, if you will, inside Iran to work to build a true democracy, one that doesn't vest enormous power, as this one does, in the unelected mullahs, who, we believe, are a threat to peace and stability in the region.

WALLACE: As we mentioned, this is your first appearance on a Sunday talk show in a year and a half. And I want to cover some ground...

CHENEY: Has it been that long? It didn't seem it.

WALLACE: It seems like it's just flown by.

CHENEY: Just yesterday, that's right.

WALLACE: I want to cover some ground that you have not covered in this kind of extended format. A number of statements that you made in the run-up to the war in Iraq turned out not to be accurate, the administration argues, because of a worldwide intelligence failure. But I just want to ask you something about them.

You said, in the run-up to the war, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. You said we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons, and then clarified that to be "nuclear weapons capability." You said U.S. forces will be greeted as liberators.

I'm less interested, because I think it's somewhat plowed ground, what you said and what you knew and all of that. I'm more interested in what you took away from the experience. Has it changed the way that you rely on intelligence? Are you more skeptical, perhaps, than you were before, having seen that it isn't always right? And has it changed your attitude, your approach toward making pronouncements to the American people?

CHENEY: Well, what I said there, Chris, was, in fact, based on the status of the intelligence at the time. That's what we had been told. It's what the National Intelligence Estimate on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq had shown and so forth.

We know now that the NIE was only partially correct. It wasn't totally incorrect. I mean, there's a tendency to say, "Well, you didn't find stockpiles. Therefore, there was no threat." That's not the case at all.

If you go read the Duelfer report, the man who headed up the Iraqi Survey Group, they clearly did have capability. They clearly had the technology. They clearly had people who've done it before. They had a lot of the basic preliminary feed stocks you need, for example. They still had a number of labs operated by the intelligence service.

All of the evidence points in the direction that if Saddam Hussein had been able to undermine or get sanctions lifted, he would have been back in business once again.

So I think the threat was still there, still significant. And I don't have any qualms about the judgments we made. I think we did exactly the right thing in going in and taking down Saddam Hussein's regime, and the world's better off for it today.

The other question is, how do we get better in terms of our intelligence capabilities? How can we improve our overall performance? And one of the most important things that's going forward today is a commission headed by Larry Silberman and Chuck Robb, which will report here in about two months, where they've done, sort of quietly outside the glare of publicity so it hasn't been a media circus, if you will, I think a very, very thorough job of reviewing our intelligence needs and requirements across the board. And I think that will be a very important piece of work that will be available in the next couple of months for us to use as guidelines for further ways in which we can improve our capability.

But it's always important for people to remember: It's intelligence. Almost by definition, it's trying to get information on what evil people are trying to do. And they're doing everything they can to hide their intentions and their capabilities from us.

We've had some great successes in the past. We've also had some great failures in the past. Our intelligence community, for example, missed the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1989, '90, '91 time frame. On the other hand, you can say, well, we had some fantastic intelligence that let us win the Battle of Midway at the beginning of Pearl Harbor.

It's intelligence. It's a difficult, complicated business. It requires people of great skill and courage in order to do it. And we've got some tremendous ones working for us. But in this day and age, obviously, we need to do more to get better, to be more precise and to increase the overall level of performance of our intelligence capability.

In the final analysis, though, these are tough calls and tough judgments. And the reason we pay the president the big bucks we do and that he gets to live in that big White House is because somebody ultimately has to take what usually is limited knowledge about a very difficult set of circumstances and make those tough calls in terms of how we're going to operate as a nation, what our policies are going to be. And that's what we've done.

And I think George Bush gets great credit for having made the right decisions, even with limited and sometimes misleading information.

WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, we have to take a break here. But when we return, we'll get into the fierce debate over Social Security reform. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Welcome back to "FOX News Sunday" and our exclusive interview with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mr. Vice President, let's talk about some domestic issues, and maybe we'll even get into a little politics.

CHENEY: OK.

WALLACE: The president got the debate over Social Security going strong this week, and my guess is people have a lot of questions. And I want to ask you some of the questions that we're hearing from people.

First of all, the cost of this program of putting in personal accounts: The White House says, for the next 10 years, the cost of starting the personal accounts, the transition costs, would be $754 billion, which is a little less than a lot of people had thought it would be.

My question is, isn't that misleading? Because under your plan, the accounts, the program wouldn't actually start til 2009. So, if you take the first full 10 years, when people can actually invest in the program, the cost is over $1 trillion, and for the following 10 years, it's $3.5 trillion. Isn't it a lot more expensive?

CHENEY: Well, it all depends upon how we set up the program and phase it in over time. It's not going to all start next year, 2006, for example. It's phased in both in terms of age, as well as when we actually begin to allow people to set money aside into their personal accounts. There's a cap on that would be gradually elevated over time. It is important to manage the fiscal impact of these transitions in an intelligent fashion, and we're well aware of that. And that's one of the reasons you do phase it in.

It's one of the reasons it's so important for us to start now on addressing these issues. And we have people running around saying, "Well, it's not going to be a problem for 30 years." If we start now, it'll be cheaper in the long run. We can phase it in over time, so it's fair and equitable to everybody who's affected by it. People have time to adjust. And we get the advantage of the time value of money going forward, to the extent that people have got savings they set aside.

So, the question here, I think, with respect to the dollar figure you've got, the estimate we've given is, in fact, the right estimate, going out over the next 10 years, given the way, in fact, we want to begin the program and phase it in as we increase the amount that people will be able to set aside.

WALLACE: All right. We certainly agree it's going to be a lot of money. It's going to be expensive. Second question, how are you going to pay for it? In the State of the Union, President Bush had this to say about that. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Let us do what Americans have always done and build a better world for our children and our grandchildren.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: I want to ask you about that. The administration plans to borrow trillions of dollars to pay for these personal accounts. But wouldn't that, in effect, be saddling those children and grandchildren with the bill? If you're so concerned about them, let's pay for it ourselves. Why not pay for it by either raising taxes or cutting benefits? Why borrow and add to the deficit?

CHENEY: It seems to me you've got to go back to the beginning and start from square one. And square one is, the program is OK today for today's retirees and for those 55 or over, who are going to be retiring in the next 10 years. They're going to get their benefits exactly as planned. There's no change proposed in any of that. For people born before 1950, what you're going to get is exactly what you've got today. And it's important that that be out there, because the opponents are running around, like MoveOn.org, George Soros's organization, challenging that, saying we're threatening existing Social Security. Not true.

Secondly, with respect to the cost, the real cost over time is doing nothing. Because if we do nothing, then the system's going to go belly up. It's going to go broke. It won't be there for today's younger generation, so that when kids 20 years old now, starting out in the workforce, get to be 65, they know full well that Social Security won't be there for them because it is not then properly funded.

WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, I'm not talking about fixing Social Security. I'm talking about the personal accounts and the fact that you're talking about borrowing trillions of dollars. And my question is, why borrow it? Isn't that, in fact, hurting future generations? Why not pay for it now?

CHENEY: No, I don't -- because you'd get a tax increase now that would in fact do serious damage to the economy.

WALLACE: Or a benefit cut?

CHENEY: Well, but at some point there are going to have to be other fixes to the economy. There are two pieces to the program here. One is the personal retirement accounts, which we think are very important to go forward with, partly because it's a better deal for the younger generation, partly because they'll own it, partly because they'll be able to earn a higher rate of return off funds put into a personal retirement account than they will off of what they would get through traditional Social Security. And there's this element of ownership that we think is very important.

WALLACE: But you don't think borrowing trillions of dollars more -- you talk about the economy -- increasing an already huge deficit, you don't think that's bad for the economy?

CHENEY: Well, but, again, remember how much we're going to borrow. We're going to borrow $758 million (sic) over the next 10 years to set up the personal retirement accounts. We think that's a manageable amount.

WALLACE: But trillions more after.

CHENEY: That's right. Trillions more after that. But the personal accounts will themselves provide a significant return for those who hold them, so that they'll get a better deal, if you will, out of money put into that system than they would if they paid it into Social Security.

Now, there are other questions that have to be raised here. I mean, you've got the basic Social Security system itself that, by about 2018, will be paying out more money than it takes in. We started with a system, back in the '30s, where a majority of Americans didn't live long enough to draw benefits. Now life expectancy's much greater.

We started with some 40 workers paying into the system for every one taking out. Now we've got about three. The basic fundamental structure of Social Security, separate apart from the personal accounts, has to be changed. It's got to be reformed, or it will go belly-up in 2040-something.

WALLACE: I...

CHENEY: And that piece of the debate has to occur too. And there what the president did was say, "Look, there are a lot of alternatives out there that we want to talk about. I'm wide open to anybody who's got an idea. And we're going to begin and have that debate as well." We think part of the reform ought to be these retirement accounts.

WALLACE: I want to ask you about that part of the debate. You say that the president said he's wide open. Well, he's wide open except for one thing. He said the only thing he won't do is raise payroll taxes.

CHENEY: Right.

WALLACE: But the White House refuses to rule out raising the taxes on that part of your income that is subject to the payroll tax. So my question really is: If the cap, now, the income cap, is now $90,000, and if you're willing to raise that, you raise it, let's say, to $200,000, for people who are fortunate enough to make that kind of money, isn't that a big tax increase?

CHENEY: Well, you're getting down now to trying to critique individual parts of the program that nobody's signed up to yet. What the president has said is we want to have a -- we want to fix Social Security. We want to do it once and for all. We feel we've got an obligation. We've got an opportunity now. And now's the time to act on it. And that involves some tough decisions, as well as the effort to set up personal retirement accounts.

We talked the other night not only about the question, for example, of indexing, going from wage-indexing to price-indexing, we've talked about raising the retirement age. We've talked about other proposals that have been offered over the years by Democrats and Republicans alike.

And we think everything ought to be on the table, and we ought to be able to look at all those options and come up with a package that will make Social Security financially sound going forward and, at the same time, allow this basic transformation where, in fact, the younger generation has an opportunity to have personal retirement accounts, something they will own, something they can pass on to their kids and grandkids, something that will give them a greater return than what does straight Social Security.

WALLACE: The president will propose a new budget tomorrow with billions of dollars in cuts for people on food stamps, for farmers on price supports, for children under Medicare, for adults in public housing. What do you say to those people who lose out in the president's budget cuts?

CHENEY: Well, first of all, it's important to keep in mind what we mean by cuts and looking at the overall situation. We are being tight. This is the tightest budget that has been submitted since we got here. The increase in discretionary spending, which includes an increase in defense, increase in homeland security, that whole account, all discretionary spending, actually will be held below the rate of inflation. And that means some of your non-defense discretionary programs are going to get hit. About 150 programs are slated to either be eliminated or reduced.

But they're problems that we very carefully evaluated, that we've looked at to see whether or not -- are they doing what they're supposed to be doing? Are they performing up to snuff? Is this a legitimate ongoing requirement of the federal government? Are there better ways to provide these services? Are there consolidations in savings that are possible? And we've come up with savings that get us to that level.

I think you'll find, once people sit down and have a chance to look at the budget, that it is a fair, reasonable, responsible, serious piece of effort. It's not something we've done with a meat axe, nor are we suddenly turning our backs on the most needy people in our society.

WALLACE: You, in an unaccustomed way, made the fashion pages recently with your choice of clothes for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Washington Post said, "While other world leaders were dressed" -- and you can look at the pictures here -- "in formal coats, the vice president was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower," and then asked, "Would you have taken the oath of office with a ski cap on?" How do you respond to that, sir?

CHENEY: Well, I was privileged to go to Auschwitz to participate in the 60th-anniversary ceremony. It was a very moving experience. That was just a very short piece of the two-day session we had there.

The day following, I traveled back to Auschwitz with the delegation and toured the gas chambers, the crematorium and looked at all of the evidence that's there of the terrible holocaust that occurred some 60 years ago, over 60 years ago.

It was a remarkable and very emotional experience. It was a reminder of how important it is that the United States and the world come together when we're threatened with those kinds of dangers, that we act in an effective manner to head it off. The world eliminated a great evil 60 years ago when we destroyed Nazism, and this was a reminder of how important it was we do that.

WALLACE: John McCain is already thinking about running for president next time -- he's making speeches in New Hampshire -- and he is 68 years old. Mr. Vice President, you're a kid who just turned 64.

CHENEY: Right.

WALLACE: Why not run for president in 2008?

CHENEY: Well, I've made a decision a long time ago that I thought about running for president back in 1994-'95 time frame and decided then I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do those things I'd have to. I went off to the private sector.

George Bush recruited me to be his running-mate, and I've enjoyed that immensely. It's been a tremendous privilege. But my ability to serve him depends upon my ability not to have any other agenda other than his agenda. I made it clear when I took this job that I had no aspirations to run for president myself, that I wanted to be a part of his team.

And it's worked very effectively. But I think primarily that's because I'm not worried about what the precinct committeemen in Ottumwa, Iowa, is going to think about me in January of '08. I make my decisions and offer my advice based on what's best from the standpoint of the president and his program and what we're trying to achieve now.

By 2009, I'll be 68 years old. And I've still got a lot of rivers I'd like to fish and time I'd like to spend with my grandkids, and so this is my last tour. I don't plan to run for anything.

WALLACE: But there a couple of points I guess I would raise there. One, you say that, you know, you don't want competing agendas by 2007-2008. The president's agenda will have been pretty much accomplished. Given your obvious commitment, the depth of your feeling about these issues, given the dangerous world we're in, perhaps if the president were to ask you, would you reconsider?

CHENEY: Chris, I will have been at this business off and on for most of the last 40 years. And I've loved it. It's been a hell of a career. I will say just as hard as I possibly know how to say -- I don't know whether you want me to take a Sherman...

WALLACE: That'd be good.

CHENEY: ... or say, "If nominated, I will not run," "If elected, I will not serve," or not only no, but "Hell no." I've got my plans laid out. I'm going to serve this president for the next four years, and then I'm out of here.

WALLACE: Finally -- and as you know from being a veteran of these Sunday talk shows, we always save the nastiest, the most difficult question for last. The New England Patriots are favored by seven points over the Philadelphia Eagles tonight. Do you take the Patriots and give the seven?

CHENEY: I think I'm going to take the Eagles.

WALLACE: Really?

CHENEY: I am. I think the Eagles by three.

WALLACE: The Eagles by three.

CHENEY: Right.

WALLACE: Well, listen, we may have to talk about this.

(LAUGHTER)

You'll have to come back and talk about that.

CHENEY: All right. OK.

WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, thank you so much. It has been an honor to have you on the program.

CHENEY: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: It really is great to talk to you. And please come on back. Let's not wait another year and a half.

CHENEY: No, I've enjoyed it, Chris.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

CHENEY: Good show.

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